Improving pupils’ perceptions of the learning environment through enhanced nurturing approaches: an evaluation

 

Jennifer Burns, Alison MacDonald and Dr Nancy Ferguson 

Affiliation: North Lanarkshire Educational Psychological Service, Scott House, 73-77 Merry Street, Motherwell ML1 1JE
Corresponding author: Jennifer Burns, jennifer.h.burns@outlook.com 
Published online on 20 June 2018 

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Abstract
Nurture interventions were offered to 15 ‘key to success’ primary schools, following access to a core package that focused on readiness and self-evaluation. The schools involved were identified on the basis of the percentage of pupils living in deprivation. Based on the identification of need, schools were offered a range of interventions from training to consultation. Video Enhanced Reflective Practice was used as a coaching and mentoring tool throughout to develop and embed skills that underpin nurturing practice. This was supported by funding provided through the Scottish Attainment Challenge. The aim of this evaluation was to determine the impact of these activities on pupils’ and teachers’ perception of the learning environment, and on pupils’ social, emotional and behavioural difficulties. A total of 380 primary aged pupils and 115 class teachers participated in the study. Independent samples t-tests revealed pupils had a significantly improved perception of the learning environment. This study illustrates that enhanced nurturing approaches allow for a more nurturing ethos to become embedded, which is of benefit to all pupils’ wellbeing, including those facing poverty-related educational barriers. Moreover, it contributes to the wider literature on the positive impact of nurturing classrooms.

Keywords
nurture, wellbeing, primary school, socioeconomic deprivation

Citation 
Burns, J., MacDonald, A., & Ferguson, N., (2018) Improving pupils’ perceptions of the learning environment through enhanced nurturing approaches: an evaluation. International Journal of Nurture in Education, 4(1), 33–44.